The FBI found a new twist on a traditional holiday song that used to warn children about staying on Santa's good list.
"Oh, you better watch out," now applies to holiday shoppers who are buying online.
This month the FBI reported with recession-weary shoppers hunting for bargains and irresistibly good buys, crooks and scammers are laying traps with deals "too good to be true."
Last year, the Internet Crime Compaint Center received more than 275,000 complaints and reported losses of $265 million.
The complaint center, known as the IC3, is in partnership with the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. In 2008, common complaints were for non-delivered merchandise or payment and auction fraud.
Scams, along with FBI tips to avoid them, include:
• Bogus online classified ads and auctions: Criminals post products they don't have, or, in some cases, use stolen credit card numbers to purchase merchandise they offer in auctions. In another scam, criminals may promise free delivery and provide customers with free "paid" shipping labels that are fake and won't be honored by shippers.
Tips: Don't provide financial information directly to sellers-use a legitimate payment service. Check each seller's feedback ratings and proven track record.
• Phony gift cards: As with merchandise, be cautious about buying gift cards through classifieds or auctions.
Tip: Buy directly from a merchant or authorized retailer. Counterfeit cards won't be honored.
• Phishing: These time-tested scams arrive by e-mail or text message, directing recipients to follow a link or call a number to correct or update account information. Would-be victims are sent to fraudulent or spoofed websites that look legitimate and directed to provide their account information and personal details.
Tips: Don't respond to unsolicited e-mail. Don't click on e-mail links or download attachments from unknown senders.
"If you're shopping online, make sure the Web site is secure and it's not a cloned website," Supervisory Special Agent Leslie Hoppey, acting unit chief of the Internet Crime Complaint Center, said in a news release "If you want to deal with a business, go directly to their official Web site."
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